Medical examiner says murdered barber stabbed 3 times
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — Local barber Altereck Shields, who was reportedly stabbed to death in 2016 by a man he got into a fistfight with, was stabbed three times, according to a medical examiners’ testimony given Wednesday.
The man accused of killing him, Jermail Blake, is on trial for his murder. On Wednesday, jurors heard the last of testimony during the trial.
Shields and Blake got into an argument after both had been drinking at the home of Anthony Angle Sr., who lived at 180 Apex Lane in Cleveland. According to testimony from Angle, Blake is his cousin and Shields was his friend.
A number of people were at the home on New Year’s Eve, including Denerio Robinson, who was the brother-in-law of Shields. Robinson said he’d smoked some marijuana prior to arriving and he drank while there.
Blake had been drinking before he arrived and allegedly snorted about half a gram of cocaine that he got from Angle.
The two eventually took their argument outside and ended up in the backyard. Angle testified that he saw Shields straddle on top of Blake and the Blake reached up and stabbed him under the armpit area with his right hand. After everyone realized Shields was dead they began beating up Blake, who went back into the house bloody.
Angle said once he called 911, everyone scattered.
Nabila Hikal, a forensic pathologist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh, said she supervised the autopsy of Altereck Shields. Hikal was also present during parts of the autopsy.
The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy is currently in New England.
Hikal said there were superficial bruises and minor scrapes on the body of Altereck Shields. Additionally, Shields was stabbed in the left upper chest, the right torso over the rib cage toward the back and the left upper arm close to the elbow, Hikal said.
“Have you formed any opinions?” asked Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Greene.
“He died from multiple, sharp-force injuries,” Hikal said.
She said Shields would’ve had bleeding from all of the wounds, some of which struck vital organs.
Julie Butler, a forensic scientist with the N.C. State Crime Lab, analyzed the knife used to kill Shields. Blake’s DNA was excluded from the blade of the knife and inconclusive from the handle of the knife, according to Butler.
Jermail Blake did not testify on the stand, but his attorney Chris Sease presented evidence that he said was contradictory.
Sease played the 911 call made by Angle, in which the man said he believed someone was dead and another man was dying. When asked by the 911 operator what happened, Angle said one person was stabbed and the other shot.
“There was no evidence of a shooting,” Sease said.
Angle denied knowing who Shields and Blake were on the call. In fact, on the 911 call, he asked someone else for Shields’ name. He told the operator the “other person” walked into his house after the beating. He said the man, who actually was his cousin, was badly beaten and was aggressive.
“I don’t know his name,” Angle could be heard saying on the call.
On the call, Angle asked his cousin why he was still there.
Sease showed jurors pictures taken of Blake after the incident. He had cuts to his face and his eyes were swollen shut. Robinson admitted beating up Blake until his own hands were swollen.
Sease also showed jurors the broken metal mop handle that Robinson used to beat Blake.
Sease said, according to Angle, his client stabbed Shields on the left side of his body, but there was no such wound in the autopsy.
“There are two extra stab wounds unaccounted for,” Sease said. “There’s inconsistencies as to how the fight started.”
Sease requested to have the case dismissed, which Superior Court Judge Anna Mills Wagoner denied.
The trial resumes today at 9:30 a.m. with closing arguments.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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